Books, Boiled Cookies and My Boy

Today is The Boy’s last day at daycare.  He’s pretty excited to get to stay at home with mommy.  For today I am enjoying my last day alone.  Hubster is sleeping from a month of night shifts.  I have already headed to the library and thrown a few rows into an e-cig pouch and lanyard I’m making for my sister.  Trying out the dough setting on my bread maker cause I need hamburger buns for dinner tonight.  Thinking I’ll halve the usual giant loaf of bread and make it into one loaf and some buns.  Will have to wait and see if it turns out.

As a gift for the caregivers at daycare I made some cookies.  Had to call after Boy was dropped off cause I hadn’t made them for the kids, just the teachers, so hadn’t made enough for everyone.  I hope they enjoy them.  They are a favorite of mine and really easy to make…

Mom D’s No-Bake Boiled Chocolate Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup cocoa
  • 2 1/2 cups rolled oats

Melt butter in medium saucepan over medium heat, add milk, sugar and cocoa and turn up to high.  Boil for five minutes stirring constantly.

Remove from heat, stir in oats.  Drop teaspoonsfull onto greased cookie sheet or wax paper.

These pictures are of a double batch and I like to make them large.

They are that simple and delicious.  I get asked for them all the time.  Also kept a few back for my friendly neighborhood grocery store lady/cousin-in-law who scored me some loverly big beef bones to make broth with.  I’ll blog about  that another day but for now the best meats, groceries and customer service in Winnipeg can be found at Fresh to the Bone

It’s a beautiful day outside.  First day of the year I’ve got the heat turned off and have thrown my windows wide open.  These windows are half the reason I begged so hard to convince Hubster we had to buy this 100-year-old house.  The airflow in here is glorious. This is a wonderful time, this first airing out after winter, and feels like throwing off a snowbank worth of stuffy indoor miasma (I keep the house clean so it’s more of an emotional miasma than a literal one) and blowing it away in the fresh, cool airflow of early spring.  Best time to do it because in a month the snow will have melted (I hope) and the winter sand will be blowing around like we live in the middle of the Sahara till they sweep it all up.

I grabbed a few books at the library.  It’s autobiography day.  I’ll be starting with Undisputed: How to Become the World Champion in 1,372 Easy Steps
by Chris Jericho, Peter T. Fornatale.  I’m looking forward to reading it.  I am totally in love with Chris Jericho and adore the fact that he’s from here.  He went to school with my aunt.  He’s also funny as hell.  I watched the wrestling half to watch what he’d do that week and listen to his podcast cause he makes me laugh.  I’ll let you know how it was.

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Oh Crap Mom Moments

Yeah.  Had one of those this morning.  One of those moments in time where you look at what’s happening and think,”I think I may have made a slight error in judgement.”  We live in a place that’s almost, slightly, attempting to look like spring may happen sometime before mid-May.  It’s been quite warmish, above freezing anyway, and the mountains of snow have started melting into dirty, messy, piles of slush everywhere.  Unfortunately, due to the tentative nature of our pre-spring weather, it refreezes every night which makes the morning sidewalks into either skating rinks or fake skating rinks (that are really freaking freezing cold puddles for you so fall into once you slip on the rink looking sheet on top).

Anyhow, I was walking The Boy to school this morning and we were doing our best to avoid the ice as best we could.  Or I was anyway.  Not a fan of walking around with frozen wet pants or pain.  The Boy found the slippy ice to be quite fun and was running around like a goofus and sliding all over the place while completely ignoring my every warning to be careful .  About halfway there he took a step onto a particularly slippery patch of ice and thus began the most incredible, awesome, windmilling, feet flailing, forward, backward, wobbling, weaving fall on his arse I think I’ve ever seen.  It took a full fifteen seconds or so but I can see it in my head as though it was in slow motion.  It was brilliant!  Outstanding!  As he looked at me stunned from flat on his back on the ground and I finished my preliminary examination to determine how badly he’d broken himself and saw he was fine…I burst into laughter.  It was funny as hell.  After blinking at me and my laughing a few times he joined in and hopped up in a delightful Mommy/Son happy moment.

And then we continued walking.  It didn’t take long for me to realize the error I had failed to foresee.  I can just see the conversation in his precious yet demented little brain.  “I made mummy happy by slipping on the ice and falling down!!  Let’s do it again!!!” and again, and again, and again…Shit.  Nothing I could say would convince him it wasn’t funny anymore and he didn’t quit until we ran out of ice at the door of the daycare.  Sigh.  Thankfully, he appears to have forgotten after a full day of daycare antics and we had a fall-free walk home.  I’m such a dumbass but one that’s grateful for a boy that is willing to go really far just to make someone else happy.

As for recipes, I found one tonight that worked out beautifully for Teriyaki sauce.  Halfway through cooking a stir-fry for dinner I was dismayed to find we had only a tiny smidge left in the bottle of my favorite stir-fry flavor.  I hit the keys and searched for homemade teriyaki sauce and found this recipe…Restaurant Teriyaki Sauce.  It is incredibly simple but turned out incredibly good.  I compared it side-by-side to the smidge left in the storebought bottle and it was even tastier and had way less crap in it.  Looks like normal.

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One of Those All White Days

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The view outside my window right now.  It’s an all-white-day.  The kind of day people with no-sun disorder have problems with.  White sky, white snow on the ground and falling.  Doesn’t help that I live in a white house with a matching white garage.  My blue-eyed Boy and Hubster would walk into the living room right now and hiss like a vampire walking into the sun.  It doesn’t bother me so much, with darker and more resilient green eyes.  The snow falling makes me glad I took a second to snap a pic of this…

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Just a tiny blast of colour in the snow.  Saw it while we were picking The Boy up from daycare and it pleased me.  Was thinking I could make it the lock screen on my phone.  I love colours so much.  Just put this bit of art on my wall…

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Yes, I know.  It’s 4-year-old kid art.  It pleases me though.  The mix of colours makes me smile and I’m happy I had a frame laying around that I could put it in.

As for the cooking stuff.  Went with actual banana bread.  Apparently it’s delicious as I left it out to cool for the night and went to bed and woke up to it already half gone from menfolk eating it for breakfast.  The recipe I used was Banana Chocolate Chip Bread.  Allrecipes.com appears to be my go-to website for new recipes.  Every time I Google something, even easy or budget recipes, it’s the first link that comes up and it hasn’t let me down yet.  I guess I shouldn’t just take the guys’ word for it…

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OMG that is gooooooood!  Moist but not soggy.  Dense but not like a brick in my tummy.  Thoroughly not surprised now that they’d devoured half of it so quickly.  Goes splendidly with my coffee and my vape of choice this morning.  Giving myself a treat today and filled up my tank with one of my premium ejuices.  King Kong from Premium Labs I Can’t Believe It’s Not Donuts line.  This is the only line of ejuice so far that I have liked EVERY flavour.  King Kong is a cinnamon sugar maple dip banana donut.  It is heavenly.  It’s treats like this that have got me through all the shit that’s happened lately.  I used to smoke a pack a day.  Now I just take a few puffs of this kind of dreamy juice and any vague thoughts of smoking of cravings just disappear like a puff of vapor.  I Can’t Believe It’s Not Donuts has four other great flavours as well.  I even got lucky and had one of the most awesome vape shop guys ever, Brennden at Steam Shoppe here in Winnipeg, sell me the only gift box he or I had ever seen of the stuff at the time.

Great guy, great shop, great juice.

So, that’s it for today.  Between typing paragraphs about so many of my favorite things I’ve been whittling away at the mountain of dishes that I’ve collected over a couple days.  Dishwasher is broken.  I wonder if professional dishwasher would look good on my resume.

Profound Mom Moments

sand art

This is a sand mandala.  Tibetan monks make these beautifully detailed and intricate pieces of art.  Sometimes grain by coloured grain.  Then they just sweep it all away.  Okay, just read up on it a bit and they don’t just sweep it away.  They ceremonially dismantle it, wrap it in silk and then return it to nature by dumping it in a river.  The point being to show how fleeting and transitory material life is.  I thought of these the other day when I was listening to my son.  He was playing and singing a little song to himself.  He made up little lyrics that created a story and sang it to the tune in his little head.  I didn’t even really listen, just enjoyed his small tune as he toodled around telling his tale about whatever it was.  I don’t even remember now what the song was about.  What I do remember was thinking, “this song is like the sand art”.  Turns out I was right.  So very, many tiny details have already been lost and I can’t possibly enjoy them all if I spend every moment recording them or jotting them down.  I guess I’ll just have to hold on even tighter to the ones I have retained, either on film, on paper or in my memory.  Then comes the problem with profound thoughts.  They lead to more profound thoughts.  As his mother, I am the only person to see, hear, feel some things that no one else will ever have.  Even his father has a completely different experience of him and therefore a completely different The Boy experience that even I won’t have.  It’s fascinating and mind boggling.  That’s the best word for my experience of parenthood from moment one.  He is fascinating both in himself and in how I feel about him and react towards him.  And then I think of the sand mandala and remember that every moment is fleeting and the profound thought circle bites itself on the tail.  Whoa man!  That’s deep.

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This is how I put the brakes on the profound thought train.  Some marshmallowy hot chocolate (not coffee at this time of night.  I have to get to sleep at some point), my blog and a good vape.  For those in Winnipeg, Manitoba, my juice of choice is currently Nana’s Nut Bread and can be acquired at Epic Haze.  One of my favorite local vape shops.  If anyone cares I’m using a Triton Mini on an Innokin Disrupter.  I absolutely adore my Triton Mini!  Top fill, decent capacity, great flavor and IT HAS NEVER LEAKED!!!!!  I’ve used it almost exclusively since I got it for Christmas and would highly recommend it to anyone looking for a good, reliable tank.

So, anyhow.  I’m enjoying the whole having time to spend with my family and cook stuff and such.  Took The Boy, The Nephew and my sister to a Winnipeg Jets public practice today.  It was fun.  The boys enjoyed it a bit and we scored an official NHL practice puck that slid down the netting.

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Got wind of a friend who was desperately craving bread so I whipped her up a loaf and then got a ‘sounds like he’s kidding but probably isn’t’ request for some of the chicken and rice soup I whipped up for dinner in the crockpot this morning from my cousin who is also the bread friends’ spouse so I packed up what was left of that for them too.  I got the majority of the ingredients I made them with from their store, Fresh to the Bone, so it’s the least I could do.  I never had time for stuff like that before.

So that’s my night.  Profound thoughts about the fragility of life’s moments, practise pucks, a good vape and sharing food with awesome people.  Oh and too many marshmallows in my hot chocolate.  If only all of life’s problems were as delightful as that.

Clever mom moments

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I have been blessed with a beautiful, clever, delightful (most of the time) little boy.  Dinner time is not always one of those delightful times however.  He also happens to be a bit of a picky eater.  He did clue me in to a clever mom moment this past week though.

Since I’ve started my career as a stay-at-home mom I’ve been putting a lot of effort into cooking homemade foods for all of us for both health and financial reasons.  Something I never had time for before between working full time and momming the rest of the time (how lax I’ve got in the wifing department is a different blog post.  Man did I find a good one in The Hubster).  I started with something easy, turkey soup.  We had a late Christmas turkey dinner a few weeks ago for dad since he missed proper Christmas dinner being stuck in the hospital.  I kept the carcass and made soup with it.  Didn’t think The Boy would even touch it as it was chock full of veggies and such but instead he surprised me and loved the hell out of it.  French onion soup was also a big hit once we got him to taste it.  Perhaps someday I’ll actually get him to believe me when I am battling with him to “just try one bite and I promise you’ll like it!!!”  Ever since those soups, every time I ask him what he wants to eat he asks for “real soup” (not sure where he picked up the phrase but he means instead of packaged or canned soups).  I asked him what kinds of real soups he would like to eat and he declared that he must have spaghetti soup.  Oh boy.  How the hell do I make spaghetti soup for a picky eater?

Turns out all you need is animal noodles.  Picked some up at Bulk Barn for about $1 and added them to a can of tomato soup.  That was it.  I would never in a million years have thought he would ever…EVER have eaten tomato soup but as the picture shows, he chowed down on it like he hadn’t eaten in days.  I took pictures just to remind myself that he did actually eat it.  Now I guess I have to find a recipe for “real” tomato soup for when tomatoes are in season again in a few months and stock up on animal noodles.  Or alphabet noodles.  Whoa!  There I go being clever again.  ABC’s and good food all wrapped up in one.  Woo hoo!  I can totally do this full-time mom thing.

For those who might be curious, that is a small part of my yarn stash in the background.  I have a *cough* small problem when it comes to yarn and thread and crochet and such.  I have managed to curb it a bit what with having no money and all.  This pile is my current projects pile and consists of about ten half-finished projects and the yarn I’ve pulled out for them as well as the eight or so I intend to make.  I only actually remember half of them but I’m sure I can find a use for the yarn or else I can just go through it and take great pleasure in handling and sorting all the lovely yarns and of course have to pull out the rest of the stash just so I can make sure it all goes where it’s supposed to and get to play with all of those as well.

Yet more oatmeal

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Banana bread oatmeal this time.  It’s exactly the same as Apple Pie Oatmeal except I’m replacing the apples with finely chopped bananas.  I will try it with mashed bananas in future experiments but my nanners are too fresh for good mashing and I don’t have time to freeze them (for those who didn’t know, if you need mashed bananas it’s great to freeze them first then thaw them.  The ice crystals formed when freezing slice up the connective stuff in the bananas and make them way more mashable).  The recipe is the same because really, the recipies for apple pie filling (at least the one I grew up with) and banana bread use the same tasty ingredients.  The apple pie oatmeal went over extremely well with the menfolk this morning so I thought I’d try to keep the streak going tomorrow. (Edit to add: I finished cooking it and tried it and my streak will remain intact.  It is heavenly)

After breakfast is done I’ll be putting a loaf of bread to bake in my bread machine.  I’ve found this recipe Best Bread Machine Recipe and it works wonderfully.  I’ve always had issues getting bread to rise in my machine.  Followed this recipe and this happens now…

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That’s my bread after rising so much it hit the cover of the machine.  This recipe is also delicious and is indeed easy.  Had it memorized after just a few times making it.  If I’ve figured it correctly, this loaf costs me about a quarter using bulk purchased flour and yeast.

 

Apple Pie Oatmeal

Threw together the most delicious breakfast last night for my menfolk to enjoy this morning.  Like the title says, it was apple pie oatmeal and it was delicious.  I’m sure it’s been done before but I will write out a recipe anyway for those who might want it. (the muffins in the background are also delicious and the recipe can be found at the following link Chocolate Chip Muffins)

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Ingredients:

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 2 small apples (or one large.  I used MacIntosh apples)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar

Instructions:

  1. Mix water, milk and oats in a saucepan.  Bring to a simmer over medium to low heat stirring often until oats are soft and liquid starts to thicken.
  2. Grate the apples with a cheese grater.
  3. If this is being made ahead take off the heat before oatmeal is fully thickened.  Will help it not dry out too much by breakfast time in the morning.  If it is to be eaten immediately, cook till oatmeal is desired doneness.  Stir in grated apples, cinnamon and brown sugar.
  4. If this was made ahead just microwave it for a minute or two and stir.
  5. Enjoy.

This recipe made enough for one man sized portion, one boy sized and there was just enough left so mum could have some too.

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After we enjoyed our apple pie oatmeal, The Boy and I got to enjoy walking in this wonderland to daycare.